Caring for our World here at Home

Who we are and what we do...

The Essex Land Trust was founded in 1968 by a group of like-minded individuals interested in preserving the small-town character of the Town’s three villages: Centerbrook, Essex, and Ivoryton. We are a non-profit, all-volunteer organization that acquires and maintains open space in Essex. We cooperate with town and state governments and adjacent communities but rely on the generosity of those who donate land, money, or their time to achieve a balance between open space and development in our community.

Our location in the Lower Connecticut River Estuary is recognized by The Nature Conservancy as one of the “Last Great Places” in the Western Hemisphere and by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands as a unique wetland of international importance. Additionally, the Connecticut River has been designated an American Heritage River due to its historic and cultural significance to the nation; one of just fourteen rivers receiving the designation nationwide. As residents of this area, we have a responsibility to protect this vital habitat.

The land trust owns or has easements on 650 acres and helps to manage some of the Town of Essex’s open space as well. ELT is the largest landholder in the Town of Essex and is committed to promoting passive recreation for the enjoyment of the community.


What you can do...

We urge you to join us in the pleasure we get from experiencing nature and in contributing to the clean air, clean water, and the preservation of open space for ourselves and those who will come after us. Involvement in the Essex Land Trust takes many forms:

  • Donate your time and money
  • Participate in our events
  • Volunteer to care for our preserves
  • Become an active member by participating in some of our committees
  • Support us in acquiring additional desirable open space